The Social Protection Committee released the 2013 annual report on the social situation in the European Union named ''Social Europe – many ways, one objective" on 19 March 2014. The report stresses that the social situation in the European Union is not improving while in some countries the situation is even worsening.
This clearly shows that the European Union is still not on the right path to a sustainable recovery and that its leaders have failed to protect the European citizens from downturns in the living conditions in ways such as increased poverty, social exclusion and inequality.
The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) adopted the conclusions at its meeting on 10 March 2014, stressing the fact that the key factor for achieving the Europe 2020 objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is working towards policy coherence between the economic and social objectives of the Union. This is something ETUCE welcomes, but has been calling for in a long time by supporting the ETUC campaign “A new path for Europe” and its plan for investment, sustainable growth and quality jobs.
The survey data (from 2012) indicate: that poverty has increased and that nearly 25% of the European population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion; that since 2010 there are 6,7 million more people who live in poverty or social exclusion (an increase in more than 1/3 of the European Member States); that income inequality is growing across and within Member States, particularly in the countries that witnessed the largest increases in unemployment. The data from the report are worrying, but it supports the message that ETUC and its members have been spreading on the need of more social investment for a more sustainable recovery from the crisis. ETUCE participated in the ETUC Euro-demonstration on 4 April 2014, where unions from all over Europe demanded a new and more social direction for Europe. The report highlights this, too, as an important step toward a more sustainable recovery for Europe.
The full version of the report can be found under the following link: